Wednesday, April 30, 2014:

Now I'm officially back to reality!

My husband and I were able to enjoy an amazing weekend in Boston while my in-laws watched the kids.  They stayed until today (Wednesday) and just left to head home.

On one hand, it will be good to get back into our routine- sometimes when you have too much help it's easy to get off schedule!  But on the other hand this means no more "stepping out" for a minute or taking a relaxing shower.  And maybe most significantly no more adult conversations!  The irony is that we don't even speak the same language and yet, we seem to understand each other perfectly!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014:

Genius Packaging

Not only do these Oreos come with an easy open pull tab, but they tell me about it to prevent me from opening at the end!!

If only they came with a padlock to prevent me from eating them at that would be brilliant!

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Monday, April 28, 2014:

Back to reality...

After an amazing weekend in Boston celebrating the marriage of good friends, it's now back to the grind. It's funny because during the regular routine, all I want is a break, but when I actually get a break, all I do is miss them!  Oh, the complexities of parenting!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014:

What is it about Drug stores....

I honestly could spend hours here.  Specifically in the travel-sized product department...

Yes, as a matter of face, I DO need a little mini loofah!!!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014:

Officially Off-Duty

My in-laws are here!!  That means I get to sleep in, step out, and decompress :)
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Monday, April 21, 2014:

It's Almost Summer!!

I am so looking forward to pool days!!  I just want to load up our pool bag with swim diapers, towels, and lunch- everything we need to make it through our morning and then it's home...just in time for naps!!

It should come as no surprise that I'm somewhat of a modern day sun worshiper in that I love to relax in the rays- so long as I'm covered head to toe in SPF 50+ and SPF qualified pool wear!

Here's what you can find in our pool bag this summer...

For Me:
Ray Bans- love these!  They are sporty yet stylish and cover a good portion of my face.  The fact that they are polarized is essential for my light eyes (ok, maybe I made this up but somewhere I've read light eyes are more sensitive to sun...I'm going with it).

Face sunscreen- This does the trick!  I'm outside a lot with the kids and to save them the embarrassment from there mom creeping around in the shadows, I opt, in stead, for frequent reapplication of this sunscreen.  I actually have a problem because when I see sunscreen at the stores, I almost always have to buy it.  You know....for the car....stroller...purse....

Hat- So, I am slightly obsesses with this brand, Coolibar.  You'll noticed that they have a very big presence in our pool bag.  Mostly because, well, they get it! "It" being the fact that not only does the sun damage in ways that make us age and wrinkle, but, way more importantly, over exposure to sun can cause pre-cancerous and cancerous skin conditions.  I am definitely the one who rocks an oversized hat when I plan on being outside for an extended period of time and this happens to be one of my favs.

Rash guard for moi- Ok, full disclosure, this rash guard serves two purposes.  1. Protects my shoulders from damaging effects of the sun's rays and 2. Protects innocent pool patrons from damaging effects of my "I had two kids really close together and the stretch marks to prove it" belly.

Body sunscreen- This one does the trick.  I like the way it smells and I can throw it on after slathering up the kiddos!

For Kids:
Ok, so for the kids, I'm essentially buying out all age-approriate goods from Coolibar. So maybe my kids are going to look a little crazy at the pool when they are covered head-to-toe in this but until they have the capacity to care what they look like, I plan on getting away with full body coverage and protection!!

Hats- I have a few of these :) And I also like this pool-friendly cap.  Coolibar hats have the longer brims that provide more shading and sun protection.

Sunglasses- still working on this.  I have a toddler who kind of gets the "cool" sunglass look but I don't think he gets that they are actually to shade his eyes from the sun.  I am also in the market for a pair for our 10 month old.  I will be doing some research on the topic :)

Swim Suits- for my one year old, as mentioned, I will be opting for something like this.  If I can some how squeeze my 2.5 year old into the 18 month version I bought last year, I will certainly go with it.  Otherwise, I'll go with just a long sleeve rash guard and shorts!

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For Boston!

I just spent the last twenty minutes looking through Boston Marathon pictures.  I am so proud of that city- its spirit, its people, its pride- and I am so lucky to have spent four years in that lovely town!

As I train for a half marathon (grueling) I can't help but wonder if maybe one day I'll be able to run Boston- I can't imagine the thrill of running up heartbreak hill alongside Boston College- getting cheered with intoxicated enthusiasm by all of the co-eds (ahhh memories!).

Congratulations Boston on showing your amazing pride and lovable soul! 

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014:

Dress Code for Parents

Have you heard about the Florida school that is considering a dress code for parents?!!

How do they define "pajamas"....specifically? Like, the nursing shirt I've been wearing for three days (both night and day), is that considered "pajamas"? Or what about the black fitted sweat pants that I've worn the last four days (just day not night)?

Listen, is it trashtastical to show up to your child's school in booty shorts and a baby-T without a bra (yes. Both trashtastical and traumatizing). But if I'm wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt (with a bra), that's a win. Anything above that, specifically anything involving denim or fabric of an unstretchable variety, well, that's just me, overachieving.
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Spring Skin Cleaning!

Now that the weather is finally getting nicer (or not...currently, there is a small covering of snow on the ground in the northeast!), I think it's time for a little Spring Skin Cleaning!!  Do you have any seasonal beauty tips?!

My routine is a little off since I am still nursing my son, but here is what I'd normally do!

1. Topical Resurfacing Treatment- despite our best winter moisturization efforts, the top layer of our skin could probably use some polishing up!  My "go to" is PCA's TCA Peels.  This is a professional treatment so you need to go to a certified aesthetician, but it is so worth it.  The smell is strong and the tingly sensation toes the line between itchy and "ok, yeah, that burns" (but in the "hurts so good" kind of way).  NB: make sure you follow your aestheticians post-treatment product recommendations like the apr├Ęs peel and Gentle Exfoliant to get the most bang for your buck.

2.  Another option I like is microdermabrasion.  This is a manual resurfacing treatment that should also be done by a professional.  It uses tiny sand particles to slough away dead skin.  The treatment essentially combines sand blasting and a vacuum that sucks away the sand and your dull winter skin!

3.  Hydrate!  I am still obsessing over Obagi's Hydrate.

4. Protect! Use sunscreen (obviously!).
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Monday, April 14, 2014:

What are your beauty rituals?

During the new year resolution process I wrote down the following list.  So far, I've been impressed with my ability to stick with it!

1. Drink more water!
2. Drink more green tea
3. Avoid medications
4. Limit alcohol consumption to 3-5 drinks per week
5. Exercise at least three days a week (I actually signed up for a half marathon and I've now reached 8 miles!...twice!).

Areas that I really want to work on...
1. Eat better!!!  While I am a petite person, I definitely could afford to eat better- more greens, less processed foods. I'm nursing and definitely using it as a crutch (translation- an excuse to eat a bag of Milanos a week!).  I'm nervous what will happen when I wean!
2. Sleep!!  I struggle with this!  My day is so busy and dedicated to my boys.  When they are down for the night, it sometimes feels good to just zone out to the TV.  Before I know it, it's after 10.  I'd really like to make an effort to have lights out by 10p every night but I'll work up to it!
3. Ironically, I'd really like to take more time away from technology (ironic bc I'm thumbing out this post on my iPhone as I sit here watching TV).  Ideally I'd love to put my phone down before dinner and not look at it again until morning.  At times, I will check my email seven times before 9am!!  It's pathetic!  

Ok, so I realize #3 might not seem like a beauty tip but it is- I zone out with my phone, I strain my eyes reading and typing and I stress while I anticipate emails!

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Finally it's Spring!!

After a brutal winter here in the Northeast, I am so beyond elated that the weather has broken 70 the last two days!!  I swear I am a new mom!  I love that we can spend all morning outside running around in the fresh air, coming home for a healthy lunch, relaxation, and then nap (hypothetically)!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014:

Another invention

Here's another million dollar momvention....

Little hand shoes (not to be mistaken for hand gloves) for the crawling bunch.  I want to be outside with my toddler but my crawler makes it difficult bc he won't stay more than 5 minutes in his exersaucer (who would want to stand still when you can crawl?).

Normally I'm fine with grass crawling but we have two dogs to share the backyard with, so...yeah...

A great thing about our yard is that it is fenced in along with a good portion of our driveway.  This is great for ride-on toys, bad for crawling....but not if you had hand shoes!!  (No, seriously, they are completely different than gloves....).

These would also be ideal for travel and crawling in hotel rooms, airports (I can't say I necessarily encourage crawling in a busy airport but I also can't say I'd deny my child the opportunity if we found a quiet/empty area).

What say you about these hand shoes (not to be mistaken for gloves).

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Eyebrow Envy- Here's how you fix it

The shape of your eyebrows is so important to the overall symmetry of your face!  Do you have eyebrow envy?  Well, here is your best bet.

1. Abort all self-tweezing exercises- the truth is that serial tweezers do more harm than good.  When you focus on one brow in the mirror and pluck away hair-by-hair, you lose perspective and often end up with uneven, poorly arched brows.  Stop tweezing your own eyebrows.  No...seriously, knock it off.

2.  Grow them out- If you have the self control, try to let your brows grow out for a few (gasp) months.  Letting your brows grow out to their gives your aesthetician a lot to work with in terms of shaping and aligning to the natural angles of your face.  Unfortunately, the more we tweeze the longer it can take for the hair to return which can eventually lead to really fine and thin brows.

3. Go to a professional.  And by professional, I don't mean the corner mani/pedi place!!  Go to a legit waxing center where the staff is trained in the aesthetics of waxing.  There really is a science behind how your brows should be waxed (how far apart they should be, where the arch is, how "long" they should be).  Going to a standard nail salon will likely get you a standard wax- lacking alignment.

Here's another tip- using a pencil, align it vertically from the outside of your nostril all the way up to your forehead.  The start of your brow, should be inline with your outer nostril.  

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014:

Introducing the laundry chair....

Putting off putting away the laundry just became justifiable.  You know....because the kids love their laundry would be cruel to take that away from them.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014:

Are you going makeup free?

I won't pretend to have voluntarily initiated a make up free regimen.  As a parent to two young boys, there is barely enough time to find a clean pair of jeans and a t-shirt before having to run out to our next activity!

That said, having been forced to pare down my morning routine means that I've had to forgo some of the more aesthetic steps of my routine (no bronzer, no blush, maybe mascara...maybe- because you all know how I feel about mascara- read #5).

The truth is, while it might not do much for my feelings of having it all together, going makeup free is so important for your skin.  Encouraging your skin to breathe without layering on product is a chance for your skin to regain it's natural balance.  

Try going make up free once or twice a week- in the evening, do your nightly face washing routine followed by seasonally appropriate moisturization and try to make it until the next evening before washing your face again.

Give your skin that 24 hour window of "freedom" and you will notice a big difference in the quality of your skin!  Not to mention, when you do put on make up, the "wow" factor will be that much more noticeable!

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Friday, April 4, 2014:

The benefit of drinking cold coffee....

1. Won't burn baby...when he spills it...all over your carpet
1a. Benefit of spilled coffee all over baby, caffeine contact high during feedings.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014:

Get Back in the Game- How Professional Careers View Paternity Leave

By now many of you have probably seen the clip of CBS Sport Network's Boomer & Carton criticizing Mets' Daniel Murphy for taking....GASP...his legal paternity leave.  How dare he take the time to support his wife and bond with his new baby?!

SERIOUSLY?! Seriously.....

And don't even get me started on the C-Section recommendation....

I hope this sparks a qualified debate about the paternity leave rights in the United States....for the record, they stink!  And it's not only elite athletes!

My husband took a week off to be home with us.  It was great...but not nearly enough time for me to acclimate to parenthood or the addition of another baby.

While it is important for dads to bond with their newborns, I think it is also important for mothers to have support and the ability to drop all of their "normal" responsibilities to focus solely on the baby and, an extremely close second, sleep.

As a member of many birth boards and online communities, I read firsthand accounts of women who are struggling to adjust.  Whether they are single mothers or married to men who, for whatever reason, aren't able to help, adjusting to motherhood is tough.

While grandparents and family are great resources, sometimes you just want your spouse to be the one to help because s/he is the only person you can really be comfortable around during a period of such vulnerability- from nursing to postpartum recovery.

For me, three weeks would have been ideal- enough time to (re)acclimate to a baby in our home.  Establish somewhat of a "routine".  Learn the basics- diapering, bathing, feeding, etc.

I don't know what the right amount of time is.  I read an article about a husband being home for three months and quite frankly, I'd lose my mind with that much, er, "help".

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014:

Mommy Spontaneity

Bottom line- babies are spontaneity sponges.

I mean, there is no other living being on the face of this earth that I would rather be limited by, but seriously, just being honest, good bye impromptu happy hours and casual weekend brunches.  And you may as well give up those bottomless mimosas, too (unless someone finds the spontaneous cure for intoxication- preferably something that takes care of the hangover too).

Giving up my ability to live spontaneously was hard for me.  Embarrassingly, surprisingly, mind-blowingly hard for me.

I felt (feel) selfish when I look back to my pre-baby days and think about how spontaneous my life (our lives) were.

Day drinking?  Sure!
Movies? Why Not?
Long weekend away? You betchya!

Listen, I've gotten over it.  It's just not going to happen anytime soon and quite frankly, it's probably a good sign that I've come to terms with this.

But recently I've discovered that I do live spontaneously...sort of.  It's called Mom Spontaneity.  Not to be confused with noncommittal, mom spontaneity is the epitome of playing it by ear.

"Playdate this afternoon?" Sure, if both the kids nap!
"Gymnastics on Tuesday?" Sure, if both kids are up!
"Open Gym on Friday?" Sure, if I make it to the end of the week!

Let me explain...

The spontaneity isn't in making it to the activity but in the ability to throw my hands in the air and say, "Gymnastics?! Nope, not when your brother, who has been up for the last 48 hours, is finally napping" or "It took 30 minutes for me to put your winter jacket, hat and mittens on which means there is only 30 minutes left in open gym and if we account for the additional 10 minutes it will take me to get you into the car....oh, look Curious George is on TV!"

That, my friends, is mom spontaneity :)

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